Murrell Brown

Mr. Murell C. Brown of Marshall, TX peacefully went to be with Jesus on Friday morning June 26, 2020, passing away at home, at the age of 82. He was born at home to Loyd Brown and Leola Cason Brown in Coushatta, LA on December 15, 1937. Growing up on the family farm south of Coushatta, Murell developed a strong work ethic.

Murell graduated from Martin High School in Martin, LA in the Class of 1955. He grew up with a love for playing basketball and played on his high school basketball team for four years.

After graduation, he moved to Shreveport to attend Centenary College. While at Centenary, he worked for his cousins at Brown Brothers Hardware while also working at Bob’s Esso gas station. From there, he entered the wholesale electronics parts business working for several local companies and working his way up to an outside sales position.

In February of 1963 at the age of 25, Murell established B & S Electronics with business partner Leon Southern. Within a few years, the business became one of the leading wholesale electronics parts houses in the Ark-La-Tex, selling all types of television parts, outdoor television antennas, etc.

In 1972, he started American Electronics becoming one of the leading wholesale distributors in the nation for Sylvania color televisions and Craig car stereos. In 1974, he bought out his business partner and combined the two business under the American Electronics name. In 1976, he purchased Dunkleman Distributing which was his entry into the wholesale appliance distribution business. He renamed the business Brown Distributing Company and it became one of the leading Kevinator, Tappan  and Sharp microwave oven wholesale appliance distribution operations in the nation.

Also in 1976, Murell established a branch of American Electronics in Longview, TX, selling a wide variety of television parts and associated accessories throughout Eastern Texas. In 1979, he established a branch of Brown Distributing in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1982, he formed Brown Sales Company (with his son Randy) representing a multitude of appliance and electronics manufacturers in several states.

In 1986, he entered the wholesale distribution business again by establishing BSM Distributing as a subsidiary of Brown Sales Company. In 1989, Murell and his wife Bonnie moved to Marshall, TX to be in between business operations in Shreveport and Longview. And in 1992, he entered the furniture manufacturing business establishing Gray Court Furniture Manufacturing as a subsidiary of BSM Distributing.     

Retiring in 2000, Murell entered the real estate business in 2006. He enjoyed over 12 years of fun and success in real estate sales in the Marshall, TX area.

No matter his business accomplishments and positions, Murell never lost his love for sales. He was a people person.

He loved his family, he loved his friends and he loved his customers. And, all of them loved him. It was often said by so many of his customers that “he could sell ice to the eskimos.” Because he had so many people give him a chance in the business world, he made it his mission to help countless young people get started in their business careers. And, so many of these individuals have gone on to successful careers and to start businesses of their own.

Murell’s business career and sales performance awards took he and his family on trips around the world. Murell met his sweetheart/soulmate for life (Bonnie White) in 1959 while on a sales call in Minden, LA. This beautiful love affair lasted for over 60 years. They shared a special bond that many people do not get to experience in life, as they were madly in love for over 60 years. A lifetime is not long enough for true love. They loved their son Randy with all of their hearts and have given him a wonderful life.

Murell loved his church (First Methodist – Marshall) serving on the Board of Trustees and for many years as an usher. Over the last 10 years, he dedicated himself to reading his Bible each and every day, reading it all the way through at least 15 times during this period of time. He had too many favorite Bible verses to list. He so often told his family and friends that he knew where he was going when he left this earth and he would be waiting on them to get there.

Murell loved the LSU Tigers. He intently followed anything LSU in all sports, especially football. He was also an avid New Orleans Saints fan.

Murell was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Lawrence Wayne Brown; infant daughter, Cynthia Lynn Brown; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Audrey and Beulah White and sisters-in-law: Freda Sikes, Dianne McFarland and Judy Warren.

He is survived by his loving wife, Bonnie White Brown; son, Randall E. “Randy” Brown; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ron and Dr. Helen Sikes and also many beloved nieces, nephews and very close cousins. 

Honorary pallbearers are: “The Lucky Charm Gang” Friday lunch group (Richard Ellis, Mike Richard, Jon Richard, Bill Sullivan, Bill Palmer and Harold Raines), Greg Sikes, Richie Arnold, Jimmy Snead, Tom Lewis, Bobby Moorehead, Jarvis Poche, Aaron Cross, Rick Smart, Allen Cariker, Ed Perkins, Jude Prest, Tim Robinson, Mark Robinson, Glenn Thames, David Dodson, Chuck Haberthur and all former employees. 

Burial will be at Union Hall Baptist Church Cemetery in Coushatta, LA. A memorial service led by Dr. Pat Day (First United Methodist – Shreveport, LA) and Pastor Mike Richard (First Assembly of God – Marshall, TX) will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020 at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home in Coushatta, LA. A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held on Friday, July 3, 2020 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sullivan Funeral Home in Marshall, TX. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family requests that masks be worn, and precautions followed by those who are at risk.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to: Union Hall Baptist Church (Coushatta, LA), First Assembly of God (Marshall, TX) or Society of St. Stephens at First United Methodist Church (Marshall, TX).

Mr. Donald Cornelious Turner

November 11, 1973 ~ June 15, 2020 (age 46)


Service were held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Deliverance Temple Church, Coushatta, La.  Interment will be 10 a.m., Monday, June 29, 2020 at Northwest La. Veteran Cemetery.

Arrangements by Heavenly Gates Funeral Home

If You Give a Girl a Margarita

By Reba Phelps

One of my favorite books to read to my girls when they were younger was, “If you give a mouse a cookie.” Thanks to semi-annual Scholastic Book Fairs, grandparents with extra cash, and book hoarding daughters, the collection quickly grew to include all of the books in this series.  

To be honest, I am fairly certain that I enjoyed this circular tale more than my children did. It tells the story of what happens when you give a mouse a cookie. He will then need milk. He will need   a straw. He will need a mirror to keep the milk mustache away. You see where this is going. It offered hours and hours of giggles. It was a far-fetched tale but oh so entertaining. 

This is the only analogy that I can use to compare my love for margaritas and my personal choice to limit my intake of them. 

If you give a girl a margarita, she cannot drink just one. They are an economical choice when they marketed as two for one. Why would I order a margarita and not drink its mate that is actually free? Two by two…Just like the animals who entered the ark in pairs, they belong together.

If you give a girl a margarita, she will not want the second one to go to waste. Dave Ramsey would be so disappointed if she was wasteful. His envelope system clearly covers all of the categories where a margarita could be included. Restaurants. Personal. Entertainment. Gifts. Yes, margaritas are a gift. 

He totally wants us to enjoy that second margarita. 

If you give a girl a margarita it will cause her to lose her dietary inhibitions. The chips and salsa become calorie-fee and there is always an endless supply. When the margaritas kick in and start doing what too many margaritas do…Multitudes of calories are consumed, and they are typically shaped like tacos and tamales. 

If you give a girl three margaritas it may as well be four. Two by two, see above. They should be consumed in pairs. Unless you are consuming the twenty-dollar margaritas at a popular place in Shreveport…then it’s only one and not purchased in pairs or fours. 

If you give a girl four margaritas then surely she will lose her ability to make good decisions and will need a ride home. The drinks will also cause a girl to get louder and possibly annoying to those around her. These four drinks on a Saturday night will make the face puffy and the crow’s feet deep. So, you might as well skip Sunday morning worship all together. 

You can see how my single and innocent margarita can quickly turn into a whole weekend of bad decisions and skipping time with the Lord.  Am I blaming alcohol? No, I am blaming my weakness and not knowing when to stop. I really truly believe in my own soul that God does not frown upon the consumption and moderation of alcohol. 

I just had problems with the moderation part. 

This is where my Catholic, Non-denominational, and Baptist roots would all collide. Having a diverse spiritual background does cause you a certain amount of angst and can create the perfect cocktail of guilt for many different reasons. Do I drink or not drink? Do I eat meat on Fridays during Lenten Season or not?  

All of the rules just seemed so burdensome, especially when there are so many to follow. I came to a point where I had to start fully trusting the words I was reading in the Bible for myself. Trying to be perfect and holy is a full-time job with no overtime pay. 

Since my commitment to have a better relationship with Christ, it was not a tough decision to make to greatly reduce the amount of lime juice, Tequila and Triple Sec that was allowed in my diet. I was consuming the massive amounts for all of the wrong reasons. I used it as a way to forget my troubles and enjoy the moment. I did not want to think about what tomorrow held. 

The more I fall in love with our maker, I know that he holds our tomorrow, he orders our steps and he equips us with every single thing we need to make it through the day.  

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Riverdale to Open in August

On Thursday afternoon, the school posted “Riverdale Academy plans to begin school, as planned, on August 7, 2020. We intend to follow our normal daily schedule.

“We are confident that we will be able to maintain a safe, healthy environment for the Riverdale family as we take precautions and implement procedures as prescribed in the document released by the Louisiana Department of Education on June 25, 2020.

“If you are interested in enrolling your child, please contact the school at (318) 932-5876. You may also email or

The public school system has not announced plans for opening this fall.  At the last board meeting three scenarios were presented, depending upon the phase of reopening the state would be in later this summer.  Summer school was scheduled to begin on July 6th if the state had moved to Phase Three, which did not happen.

The School Board will meet Monday at 2:00 pm.  Further plans for school opening will probably be discussed at that meeting.

Edwards Makes It Official

Governor John Bel Edwards formally extended Phase Two of reopening in Louisiana for another 28 days, as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase across the state. The new order leaves in place occupancy and other restrictions of the previous Phase Two order and adds a crowd size limit of 250 to indoor gatherings.

“We have watched with concern as cases continue to rise in Louisiana, which is why we are pausing the state in Phase Two for now. Data from the last three days makes it crystal clear that Louisiana is not ready to move to Phase Three just yet,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our plan is to watch the daily trends and then to do another deep dive into the data in 14 days to determine if things are improving or getting worse, so we can make a plan for our future. None of us wants to go back to a time of greater restrictions, which is why it is incredibly important that all Louisianans take the necessary mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state, including wearing cloth masks or face coverings when they are in public, staying home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms, keeping six feet of social distance and washing their hands frequently.”

“Some in Louisiana may be done with COVID, but I promise you that COVID is not yet done with Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “I especially want to call on the young people of our state, those ages 18 to 29, to take this illness seriously. This is the age group with the largest numbers of new cases and while you may think you are invincible; you are not. Moreover, you should make sure you don’t spread the illness to others, especially those most vulnerable to it.”

Red River COVID-19 Update

One more case of the COVID-19 virus has been confirmed in Red River Parish by the Louisiana Department of Health.  There are now 54 cases, up one from 53 on Tuesday.

There have been no additional fatalities in the parish.  There have been 8 deaths attributed to the virus.

The latest health department report on nursing homes and adult care facilities shows that Green Meadow Haven remains clear.  There have been no cases among residents and the staff at the home.

A reminder that free tests for the virus will be offered July 7th through 10th at the Coushatta Community Center.

Governor Cancels Clara Springs Summer Camps

This week Governor John Bel Edwards extended the Phase Two reopening of the state for 28 more days.  That in effect cancelled summer camp programs planned by nearby Clara Springs Camp.  All other overnight camps were cancelled at the same time.

Bubba and Mandi Mills immediately expressed their disappointment and a look forward on a video posted for all campers and their families.  Bubba Mills said he talked with the State Fire Marshall and this summer overnight camps are not going to happen.  He said the Louisiana Department of Health is not recommending campers stay overnight for health and safety reasons.

Mandi Mills said, “So this year camp just won’t happen.  We wanted you to see our heart, and this was not an easy decision but was forced on us.”  Bubba Mills added, “When we heard the Governor’s news conference we knew we would not be able to hold the camps.”

That may not be the end of it.  Mills said, “It does not stop our ministry.  This opens new windows for us to reach out.  We’re going to do that.  We love to do that.”

Tonight (June 26th) is the 4th Friday Fish Fry.  Mandi Mills said it would be drive up for fish dinners or people could eat on the campgrounds.  On Saturday (June 27th) it will be “Farm & Fam Day” at Clara Springs.  Bubba Mills said over 40 vendors had been scheduled for the event plus there will be an auction and other family activities.

Local Students Take Part in 4-H U

This week members of the Red River 4-H Clubs took part in the annual 4-H University.  However they did it from the local 4-H office.  4-H U went virtual because of the COVID-19 virus. 

Here are a couple of pictures of the participants.  Bryce Hunt competed in the Insect ID contest. He was the last contestant to compete.

Elliot and Ellis Grant did a great job calling the football game in the sports broadcasting contest for 4-h U.  4-H Agent Jacque Fontenot said, “They did a good job.  They still have a lot to learn but they really improved even from Friday.  They didn’t have any down time at all, and the coach complimented them on their knowledge of football.  I’m proud of them and I hope they try again next year.  Rafe Suggs wants to do this contest with someone next year, also.  We can have two or three teams.”

Addison Bounds shows off her AMAZING talent in the “4-H Has Talent” contest during 4-H University this week.  Addison’s video is at the end of this article.

Tech Offers New Technology Certificate

Certificate in Information Assurance and Cyber Security Management Introduced at Louisiana Tech

RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business is now accepting applications for a newly developed undergraduate certificate in information assurance and cyber security management. Designed to enhance the degree for students pursuing a computer-related major, this certificate is also an attractive add-on for those looking to enter the cyber workforce.

This 18-hour certificate helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel in positions in information systems and network security—one of the fastest growing industries in Louisiana.  

“Our new undergraduate certificate is one more way we are working to adapt curriculum to the needs of industry partners and an ever-changing workforce,” said Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business. “Students pursuing this certificate—and all students in the College of Business—will possess both technological agility and the ability to leverage technology in business to its fullest.”

Students will learn to protect systems and information assets, and to detect, report, and resolve cyber security threats. Additionally, coursework will prepare students to perform information systems risk analysis, along with information systems disaster recovery and business continuity.

Designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research, Louisiana Tech’s computer information systems curriculum encompasses cybersecurity, project management, telecom, enterprise systems, data analytics and programming. CIS lies at the intersection of business and technology.

In addition to the undergraduate certificate in information assurance and cyber security management, the College of Business offers several degree options in the field of computer information systems:

  • Bachelor of Science in CIS
  • 2+2 Transfer Pathway Program in CIS
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance
  • MBA with a concentration in Information Assurance (including Hybrid delivery method)
  • Doctor of Business Administration with a concentration in CIS

Courses in the certificate program will begin this Fall. Interested students should complete an undergraduate admissions application at For more information, visit

About the College of Business
Through market-driven academic programs and impactful scholarship and teaching, the College of Business at Louisiana Tech University produces business and academic leaders who are innovative, entrepreneurial, analytical, and technologically skilled for a competitive global marketplace. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the College offers eight undergraduate degree programs in addition to the master of business administration, master of professional accountancy and doctor of business administration. For more information, visit